Saturday, September 28, 2013

40 Days to Better: Day 27

Yesterday when I was running, I thought about the gray skies I was running under.  And yesterday, I wrote about making sure that I don't end up bringing what might be gray in one part of my life to other parts of my life.

Today, I continue with that theme a bit.  That is a bit more of a direct tie between two days of writing than I usually have.  However, I see it as logical since I ran another 4 miles (just backwards on the same course as yesterday) under clouds.

Specifically, today I am thinking about being on the road to better for a lot of different things at once.  When I began the 40 days to better there were 40 days between a day on Labor Day weekend (when I had not run for four days) and the Baltimore Running Festival.  So, I was mostly thinking of 40 days to better running.  But I also wanted to think about 40 days to being better at a whole bunch of things.

Each day when I write, I have written about running and marriage and work and friendship and parenting and a whole bunch of other things that maybe get mentioned once or twice.

But can I really hope to make myself better at everything? The answer to that may be no.

Of course, there are some general principles that I can follow.  More follow through.  More reliability.  More listening.  More being done on time.  All good.  All help all aspects of my life.

But maybe, thinking like the economist that I am, I have to make tradeoffs.  I hope not.  Thinking about having to make tradeoffs in what I become better at is not a fun idea.

But if I don't, I may have to ask, "What does getting better in one area cost in terms of changes in another area?"

If I focus on improving at work will I lose in family life?

If I focus on improving on family life, will I lose on fitness?

If I focus on improving on fitness, will my Sunday school teaching go down hill?

I could pose tradeoffs between any combination of two things that I want to improve.

The key is to find the right combination.  Recognizing that more is better for each one.  My boss likes to say "More, better, faster."  Can I do all three of those or will choosing any one or two meant that I can't do the other or others?  Trying to improve each one.  Trying to avoid having to give up too much of one to get another.

I can think of what it means to be a better person.  Does that have to mean being better at everything?  In an ideal world, yes.  However, that may simply not be possible.

So, I have to carefully (and sometimes prayerfully or at least with spiritualism in mind) consider what the tradeoffs mean.

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